Taco Bell likes to think outside the bun. What began as a So-Cal hot dog stand is now a monolithic Tex-Mex fast-food locale with a cult-like following.
The chain boasts its own clothing line in partnership with Forever 21; provides wedding service packages; proudly offers Kit Kat Chocoladillas, Beefy Potato-Ritos, Chicken Biscuit Tacos and other loaded menu items worth a day's allotment of calories; and serves beer on tap across its Cantinas locations.
"Brews own beer" is next on Taco Bell's weighty resume.
The fast-food chain opened their newest Cantina in Newport Beach, California, in conjunction with its very own branded beer on draft called Beach Bell, a Mexican-style amber lager developed with Huntington Beach-based Four Sons Brewing company. The two companies collaborated to craft a unique flavor that enhances and complements Taco Bell's menu.
In a press release, the company said the beer is "light, crisp, and refreshing" with a "smooth and robust taste" and a clean finish. Beach Bell Amber Lager is available for a limited time at the Newport location only.
The Newport Cantina, which opens Dec. 15, also features boozy "Twisted Freezes," an open kitchen, walk-up window ordering and murals by Volcom artist Joe Frizzelle, flat-screen TVs and USB ports for charging cellphones. The location serves the usual Taco Bell offerings, along with Cantina-exclusive shareable appetizers like jalapenos with dip.
Taco Bell first served alcohol in 2015 when it opened its first Cantina store in Chicago and has since opened 10 additional locations throughout the U.S. No two Cantinas are alike, including its flagship restaurant.
Taco Bell's Vegas flagship restaurant, located in the Las Vegas Strip, is a two-story-tall eatery with patio seating and a Taco Shop retail store displaying t-shirts, shot glasses, key chains and bathing suits.
The fast-food chain is continuing to push into urban locations across the country with a plan for 300 drive-thru-free locations over the next five years, many of which will serve alcohol. Food and Wine pointed out drive-thru purchases make up more than half the chain's revenue, which is quite a risky move, but the company was reported saying it isn't afraid to try new things (true to Taco Bell's outside-the-bun thinking).